Agriculture, Beverages & Food

The European Commission said today that it had filed a civil lawsuit in the United States against the Philip Morris Company and the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company seeking damages for what it called their involvement with organized crime in smuggling cigarettes into Europe.
Chiquita, the global banana producer, was ordered to face a federal court over their role in paying off right wing death squads in Colombia that are alleged to have used "random and targeted violence" against villagers in exchange for financial assistance and access to Chiquita's private port.
The 21st National Pesticide Forum, Toxics in the Age of Globalization, is a national conference focusing on the adoption of alternative practices and policies to protect our children, workers and communities from the toxic hazards of pesticides in an age of global social, economic and corporate politics. In addition, relevant issues such as health effects, West Nile virus, pesticides in schools, organic agriculture, farmworker justice, habitat impact and much more will be covered in the Forum workshops. This years event is convened by Beyond Pesticides/ National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides, Chemical Connection, Clean Water Action Texas, Environmental Outreach, Public Citizen Texas, Texans for Alternatives to Pesticides, and University of Texas Campus Greens
US farmers have just finished buying seed for the coming growing season, and early studies suggest that a significant proportion are abandoning GM. A market survey reveals that US farmers plan to plant 16% less genetically modified (GM) corn than they did last year.
Ethanol made from corn has been touted as the "green fuel" of the future. Archer Daniels Midland, the largest U.S. producer of ethanol, stands to make a fortune from environmentally conscious car drivers. But is ethanol really as environmentally clean as it is hyped to be? Listen to an interview with Sasha Lilley on CorpWatch Radio. 
The $145 billion punitive damage award against the tobacco industry in the Engle case in Florida should be celebrated as evidence of a civil justice system that works, proof of the value of juries and a major public health achievement.
"exploring options" amid reports it is about to be sold to Swiss food giant Nestle.
DBCP, or dibromochloropropane, is one of the pesticides used on Nicaragua's banana plantations in the 1970s. Workers say it has affected 22,000 people, directly or indirectly, and that DBCP-related illnesses have already killed at least 83 of their comrades.
The Yerisiam Gua indigenous community of West Papua filed a complaint six months ago against a Sri Lankan owned conglomerate for taking over their land to create a palm oil plantation. To this day, the industry body charged with oversight has yet to formally respond to their concerns.
Here is a statement from John R. Garrison, the CEO of the American Lung Association on the global tobacco bailout.